20 Prospects in 20 Days: Ivan Provorov

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

By: Andy Hughes (@PensNation_Andy)

With only 11 days left until the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft in Florida, we will be breaking down a prospect each day up until June 26th. Today, we will take a closer look at defenseman Ivan Provorov.

(NHL.com)

Defenseman Ivan Provorov, Brandon (WHL), 18 years

Height: 6’0” Weight: 201 pounds, Shoots: Left

RANKED:

NHL Central Scouting: 7th among North American Skaters

TSN: 5th among all players

2014-15 Stats: 60 games played, 15 goals, 46 assists, 61 points, 42 penalty minutes

 

There are a few very talented defensemen in the 2015 NHL Draft class and Ivan Provorov is one of them. A year ago, Provorov wouldn’t have been even in the neighborhood of a first-round pick, but now after a great 2014-15 season with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL, he could be one of the first to be selected at his position. How did he rise so far in a year? Well, being a point per game player as a defenseman shouldn’t hurt. The Russian defenseman registered 61 points (15 goals and 46 assists) in 60 games this season. That point total led all WHL rookies and ranked fourth among WHL defensemen. He also contributed in the postseason, tallying 2 goals and 11 assists in 19 games. He was a key part of the the Brandon squad that went to the WHL Championship Series. Provorov also won a silver medal with Team Russia at the 2015 World Junior Championship. He was the youngest player on the team and recorded 1 assist in 7 games. Provorov is a great skater and his good skills handling the puck helps him lead or join the rush. However, sometimes his ability comes back to haunt him. He’ll need to learn more about when and when not to go end-to-end. In the NHL, he will get punished if he tries to do that too much. With his great vision and abilities with the puck, Provorov is an ideal power play quarterback. He can make perfect passes through tight areas and also has a hard shot from the point. While he could be a little more physical, he has shown the ability to play good defense as well. Provorov is a smart player who knows where to be in his own zone. As long as he doesn’t go too far up the ice, he should be fine with playing defense in the NHL.

Provorov could easily develop into a top pairing defenseman in the NHL. While he’s not as big as some of the other top defensemen in this draft class, he is very intriguing. He probably is a year away from being ready for the big show, but if he develops into what he’s supposed to, look out. I can envision him being a great power play quarterback who can also play good defense. You can never have too many of those guys. Unfortunately for him, the “Russian factor” may drop him down a bit, but you never know. A good fit for Provorov would be the Columbus Blue Jackets, who could use a young defenseman to go along with all of their young forwards someday. They select 8th in the first round, which would seem appropriate for Provorov. Expect to hear his name called within the first ten selections.

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Previously Seen in “20 Prospects in 20 Days”:

Kyle Connor
Timo Meier
Dylan Strome
Mitch Marner
Mathew Barzal
Thomas Chabot
Evgeny Svechnikov
Mikko Rantanen
Ilya Samsonov